How to Pick a Nursing Program near Winona Mississippi
Locating the best nursing school near Winona MS may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regretably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing college. There are many essential additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different Winona MS medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Winona MS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Mississippi community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Mississippi colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Mississippi board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Winona MS students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Winona MS area and throughout Mississippi and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Winona MS, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Mississippi or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Mississippi school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Winona MS healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Winona MS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Winona MS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Winona MS?
Winona is a city in Montgomery County, Mississippi. The population was 5,482 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Montgomery County. Winona is known in the local area as "The Crossroads of North Mississippi" due to its central location at the intersection of U.S. Interstate 55 and U.S. Highways 51 and 82.
Middleton, Mississippi was a town that developed in the 19th century two miles west of Winona's site. Some locals consider it the predecessor to Winona. After the railroad was built to the east, development shifted to what became Winona and bypassed Middleton.
The first European-American settler in the area, which was originally part of Carroll County, was Colonel O.J. Moore, who arrived from Virginia in 1848. He agreed to the railroad being constructed through his property, and a station was built in 1860 near his plantation home. As a result of the railroad line and station being built here rather than Middleton, Winona was founded and began to grow. The railroad attracted business, which developed around the station as Moore sold off some property. Winona was incorporated as a town on May 2, 1861. Settlers were attracted because of the railroad access and Winona became a busy trading town.
Pick the Right RN Course near Winona MS
Picking the right registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Winona MS.
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